1 – Apologies for Absence

No apologies for absence were received.

 

2 – Disclosure of Pecuniary Interests

No disclosures of pecuniary interests relating to meeting agenda items were submitted.

 

3 – Public Participation

One member of public was present but wished to speak regarding item 9 – Planning applications and the reconsultation of the medical centre at Steele Avenue. Members agreed to allow the gentleman his time to speak on that item.

 

4 – Approval of Minutes

The Minutes of the Meeting of the Council held on Wednesday 27 September 2023 were approved.

5 – Reports from outside organisation and agencies

  1. Kent County Council

Councillor Penny Cole provided a written report to the meeting informing members of KCC’s strategy to get the Council back on a stable financial footing which focused on four objectives:

  1. Bringing the 23/24 budget back into balance
  2. Deliver the savings to set a sustainable 24/25 budget
  3. Policy choices and scope of Council’s ambitions
  4. Further transforming the operating model of the Council

Councillor Cole also informed members of the work done by KCC on the Plan Bee initiative along with the tree planting of Kent’s Plan Tree.

Members resolved to note the County Councillor’s report.

2. Dartford Borough Council

Councillor Cutler provided details of upcoming festive activities and noted the success of the recent Christmas light switch on.

 

6 – London Road Lorry Parking

Members were provided with the minutes of the recent Round Table discussion regarding Lorry Parking on London Road.

Members resolved to note the details of the discussion and awaited scheduling for the proposed walk along London Road.

 

7 – Lads of the Village

Members were provided with an update regarding submission of nomination of the Lads of the Village public house as a Community Asset. An initial application was submitted to the Borough Council in  The process is prescribed to be completed within eight weeks as per legislation, however more than four months have passed since the initial submission. A request for additional information was made in mid-August, which took some time to collate and re-submit. However, the process has still not been resolved and further information was only requested this week. There is disagreement regarding the information sought, which is felt to be beyond legislative requirements

Members resolved to note the update regarding the application to nominate the Lads of the Village as an asset of community value.

 

8 – Stone Recreation Ground Masterplan

Members were updated on the planning application for the Stone Recreation Ground Masterplan and required to resolve advertisement of the Tender Pack for the cafe, landscaping and car park for the Stone Recreation Ground Masterplan.

The application for the café, landscaping and car park has received several stakeholder responses. KCC Highways raised some concerns over the size of the proposed parking spaces and access paths, but after meeting with the design team these have all now been addressed. The expected timeframe is now approximately two weeks, but this could be sooner, if the remaining consultees respond earlier. The tender pack will be advertised on the government’s Contract Finder portal and the council’s website as per Financial Regulations.

Works will then be expected to begin in the Spring, which could have an impact on bookings at the Stone Pavilion as well as the café. We have requested that there be limited downtime if any of the café and will be able to confirm what this is likely to be when the contractors provide a schedule of works.


Members resolved to approve advertisement of the tender pack as outlined.

 

9 – Planning Applications

Re-consultation: 23/00145/FUL – Car Park Steele Avenue Greenhithe Kent
Development of a medical centre with undercroft car parking, landscaping, and other associated works.

Members were requested to resolve representations to the re-consultation for the proposed medical centre at Steele Avenue.

A member of the public spoke on this matter, raising objections over the application and its failure to answer the Council’s previous objections in any meaningful way.

Members thanked the member of the public for their contribution.

It was felt by members that the Parish Council’ earlier objection remained sound and the changes to the application have been minimal.

Members resolved to object to the re-submission of the application.

 

Members resolved that the clerk formulate a response for the objection confirming that the council wishes to maintain its objection to the application, with the following grounds for objection supplementing, rather than replacing, the original representation, which still stands:

  • Continuing significant conflict with the neighbourhood plan, recognised by the

applicant;

  • The failure of the changes to recognise and respect the green buffer function;
  • The inadequate design response to the proposed bulk and poorly conceived

undercroft;

  • The availability of the Horns Cross site, including its ability to accommodate the scale

of building needed through effective local engagement and high-quality design.

10 – Finance

10.1 – Budget Monitoring Report – 31 October 2023

Members were presented with a Budget Monitoring Report for the period ending 31 October 2023.

Members thanked the RFO for her report and resolved to note the report.

 

10.2 – AGAR 2022-2023

Members were presented with the audited AGAR for 2022-23 and requested to consider the findings of the external audit report.

Members congratulated the Responsible Finance Officer on another successful external audit.

 

10.3 – Community Grants Applications

Members were requested to consider resolution of Community Grant Applications as submitted.

The Citizens Advice Bureau applied for grant funding. Members raised some concerns over where the funding would be used and ensuring it provided a benefit to Stone Parish residents. It was felt by members that it would be more productive to enter discussions with the CAB suggesting that they could use Stone Pavilion to deliver directly to residents.

Members resolved not to award Grant Funding on this occasion but to enter into further discussion with the Citizens Advice Bureau regarding providing services from Stone Pavilion.

 

10.4 – Pay Award & Living Wage Increase

Members were requested to note resolution of NJC Pay award 2023-24 effective from 1st April 2023 and Living Wage rate increase to £12ph effective from 1st November 2023.

Members resolved to note the resolution of pay awards as outlined.

 

11 – Exclusion of Press & Public

It was resolved, pursuant to section 1 (2) of the Public Bodies (Admission to Meetings) Act 1960, that because of the confidential nature of the business to be transacted, the public and the press leave the meeting during consideration of the following item.

 

12 – Stone St Mary’s Preschool

Members were provided with an update on Stone St Mary’s Preschool

Members discussed the current issues with the preschool and resolved to defer the quarter three rent payment.